11th Emergency Media and Public Affairs Conference


Sydney, June 2015


The Emergency Media and Public Affairs (EMPA) Conference for 2015 attracted executives, academics, industry leaders, practitioners and professionals in media and communications. Participants were treated to frank and fearless discussions and enjoyed time to meet and connect with others in the relaxed forums and excellent setting.

EMPA conference participants enjoy relaxed forums where meeting others and sharing experiences is a real benefit. Image: EMPA.

The conference included workshops sessions on a range of topics. Delegates shared their specific tools and perspectives that help agencies reach audiences, be understood, be believed, and keep people safer.

Subjects covered ‘helping the non-communications people in your team do great communications’, media editing approaches, and communication considerations for audiences with special needs. These were great hands-on sessions.

Of particular note were presentations from keynote speakers including Mark Crosweller, Director General of Emergency Management Australia, Joe Buffone, Deputy Commissioner of Emergency Management Victoria, and Mia Garlick from Facebook Australia.

As always, EMPA brings in international speakers and Dr Brooke Liu, University of Maryland, Washington and Silke Hampson, UN Mission to South Sudan, provided insights and shared their considerable experiences in their fields of communication deep research and outreach communication.

The EMPA conference is always about sharing experiences and presentations by Reegan Key, Emergency Management Victoria, Anthony Clarke, NSW Rural Fire Services, and Dan Neely, Wellington Emergency Management Office were highly thought provoking and entertaining!

The big benefit to participants is the access to latest leadership thinking in emergency planning and response and shared experiences with others in this area.

Importantly, as a not-for-profit organisation, EMPA is committed to finding lessons in this important field. Funds from the conference are channelled back into research and sharing lessons identified.

Next year’s EMPA conference will again be sponsored by Emergency Management Australia and will be held in Melbourne.

EMPA New Zealand conference, Auckland, July 2015

New Zealand’s specialist Disaster Communications Conference was help in Auckland at the end of July. Keynote speakers included The Hon Nikki Kaye Minister of Civil Defence, Catherine Matheson Fortis BC, Canada, Jacqui Bridges General Manager Communications at NZ Met Service, Dr Fran McGrath Deputy Director of Public Health, Ministry of Health, Sarah Stuart-Black, Director of Civil Defence Emergency Management, Mark Crosweller Director General, Emergency Management Australia, and Antony Byers Director of National Security Communications.

EMPA is the only representative organisation of emergency service and crisis communications practitioners in the world. EMPA’s annual conferences in Australia and New Zealand helps fund research on emergency and disaster communications and community response and recovery. It also administers an internationally-recognised accreditation programme for emergency public information managers.